The first issue of haiku journal Leaf-fall arrived in my letterbox recently, a gift from editor Akira Yagami who invited five poets to submit to the inaugural issue – Eva Limbach, John McManus, Alan Summers, Lucy Whitehead and myself.
after the scan
a dollhouse with
no one inside
Lucy Whitehead, Leaf-fall 1.1
This is from Lucy’s bio at Tinywords: Lucy Whitehead has a BA (hons) in Archaeology and Anthropology and an MA in the History of Art and Archaeology (of Asia). She has worked as an archaeologist and academic editor. She started writing haiku in 2018. Lucy lives in Essex in the UK.
Eva Limbach, Leaf-fall 1.1
Eva writes in both English and her native German.You can read more of her work at her blog, Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility). She lives in Saarbrücken, a German town near the French border and has been writing haiku since 2012.
Both the male poets are from England. Read more about John McManus. Alan Summers is a busy haiku bee who writes, teaches and supports various haiku institutions. His website is here.
And me? Well, you know me already!
first cold morning
the unlined face
of my oldest doll
Akira Yagami has sent submission and subscription details for Leaf-fall, which is a print-only journal: April 15-May 15 (estimated publication date in early June); October 15-November 15 (estimated publication date in early December). Annual subscriptions are available: £10 outside UK (postage included) for two issues, beginning with 1.2. All payments via PayPal to akirayagami (at) gmx (dot) com
Cover artwork is also being sought for issue 1.2. All kinds of art considered, but please send only jpeg files to the above email address with the subject line ‘art cover submission’.
The next publication to arrive was NOON: An anthology of short poems (Isobar Press), a collection from the journal of the same name, covering the period 2004 to 2017. From 2004 to 2009 NOON was a print-only journal, before migrating to the web in 2014. ‘Short poem’, by the way, is anything up to 14 lines, so yes, haiku, but other types of work as well.
In his Introduction, editor (of both the anthology and the journal) Philip Rowland says, that, even online, having one poem per page means “each poem [has] the space to ‘breathe’; [but] the poem must also, so to speak, warrant the page”.
In this way the journal’s format has helped open the question: how much can these poems of very few words do, individually and collectively? The challenge is one
of concision – but also connection, for each issue is meant to form a sequence of poems, short enough to be read at a single sitting.
Likewise, the arrangement of poems in this anthology has been a crucial consideration: they have been carefully juxtaposed throughout. Thus it is not simply a ‘best-of’ collection, but rather a new configuration of selected poems – a retrospective special issue, effectively. Given the scarcity of the print issues and the ‘virtual’ form of the later ones, the general aim has been to provide a representative sample of poems from the journal in a more readily available book, offering, it is hoped, a distinctive and wide-ranging selection of contemporary short poetry.
The result, Philip says, is a “renga-like chain of over two hundred poems by almost half as many poets”.
The NOON Anthology isn’t without its challenges for a conservative writer like me, but there’s plenty here for even the moderately adventurous reader – including humour.
Read about Marcel Duchamp’s ‘artwork’ Fountain. The Lee Gurga piece below sounds like a snippet from a Billy Collins poem (a compliment, by the way).
mother’s burial dress
the garden reverts
end of the month –
the clatter of a knife
in an empty jar
A review of this anthology is in the pipeline and will be posted here on breath when the author has completed it.